A high green hill, covered with small white houses. The road going up is narrow and full of turns. It got even narrower when we got at the village, the car’s side mirrors almost touching the houses’ walls. Houses which were painted white, forming a labyrinth. Gardens full of flower pots, blasting with colour, hidden behind blue and green doors. Palm trees at the main square, a mosaic fountain decorated with frogs. Arabic coffee and pastries.
Old churches. Souvenir shops, selling handmade colourful plates and thick flamenco shoes, made in China. A castle on the highest spot of the village.
Close to the castle, we pass by the small museum of Vejer. I go in, paying my ticket to a friendly lady wearing glasses and a colourful top. Pictures of the good old times, tools of the farm life, ladies’ toiletries and jewellery. I stop in front of the painting of two women.
A black dress, covering their bodies from head to toe. Their faces covered, their right eyes covered. There were only given the privilege of watching the world through one eye, condemning the other one to eternal darkness. Walking around the town – if they were allowed to at all – like identical glimpses of a nightmare, like one-eyed creatures from another world, dragging their heavy dark dresses among the white walls. Try to tell which one of them is your sister, your mother, your lover, in a group of ten. Impossible.
Men did not have to cover their faces or their bodies or their eyes, men were free to dress in a comfortable, practical way. Men were roaming the fields, riding horses, working at the land, seeing the world with both eyes wide open, laughing, talking, living. Some things don’t change through the years, no, not as much as we would hope or think they would.
At another wall of the museum, a photograph taken at the Neolithic necropolis found nearby. A tight hug, after death has done them apart. Lovers? Friends? Mother and child? Some things don’t change throughout the years, no, not as much as we would fear they would. No matter how many layers of dark clothe cover our bodies, no matter how much fear and hate for freedom sometimes reign in this world.
original photo taken by E. Vijande